Diggers & Dealers: Gold companies dominate awards

The 2017 Diggers & Dealers gala dinner

Gold miner St Barbara scooped the Digger of the Year award at the 26th Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie this week.

The award, accepted by St Barbara at the event’s gala dinner on Wednesday night, recognised the significant turnaround at the company over the past three years.

Diggers & Dealers chairman Nick Giorgetta highlighted the achievement by St Barbara to “convert a company that was previously considered to have an uncertain future into a company that consistently meets or exceeds expectations”.

St Barbara managing director and CEO Bob Vassie said the turnaround was credit to the entire team at the company because it was a genuine team effort that it should all be proud of.

“The challenge for us now is to use the same energy and commitment that drove the turnaround to drive the next chapter in St Barbara’s growth,” Vassie said.

Another gold company, Gold Road Resources, was named the Dealer of the Year for its decision to become a 50 per cent joint venture partner with South Africa’s Gold Fields at the Gruyere gold project.

Gold Road chairman Tim Netscher, who is also the chairman of St Barbara, said the board’s focus at the company had been to achieve a deal that delivered a win‐win outcome for all.

“In all transactions, both parties need to walk away in the belief that they will deliver shared success. The negotiations with Gold Fields were built on trust and mutual respect. I’d like to recognise the advice provided to the board by our executive team and our external advisors,” Netscher said.

The GJ Stokes Memorial Award was won by OceanGold Corp and Syrah Resources chairman Jim Askew, whose career in international mining has spanned more than 40 years.

Kin Mining was awarded the emerging company gong, while WA School of Mines student Janelle McPhee won the Ray Finlayson medal for leadership and academic excellence and Australian Financial Review journalist Tess Ingram secured the media award.